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Pre-orthodontic treatments: dental procedures before beginning orthodontic treatment

21 June · 5 minutes

Thinking about getting braces or aligners, but not sure what things you need to do before starting? Many people are surprised when they get to their initial consultation and the orthodontist gives them a dental treatment plan with procedures they need before even beginning orthodontic treatment. You can avoid any unexpected prerequisites by reading this article and learning about all the different types of dental treatments you might need pre-braces or any other orthodontic device.

What are pre-orthodontic dental treatments?

Pre-orthodontic treatments are dental procedures that patients sometimes require before beginning their orthodontic treatment. Once you have been diagnosed at your consultation, the orthodontics specialist should notify you of any procedures you might need or anything else you have to do before you get braces or aligners.

The Impress team showing off the Impress kit in the clinic

What to do before getting braces or other orthodontic treatments

First and foremost, before beginning orthodontic treatment, you should always be sure to visit a real professional. Only orthodontists are qualified and trained to create your dental treatment plan, since they are experts in the teeth’s movements. It’s also important for your health to seek dental treatment from someone you can trust to meticulously follow medical protocol.

If you decide to choose Impress as your medical provider, we’ll start by performing a series of tests and examinations at your initial consultation. With those results we’ll develop a personalized dental treatment plan and confirm that invisible orthodontics are the right type of dental treatment to achieve a straighter smile.

First, our medical team will take a panoramic and intraoral x-ray to detect any dental problems that can’t be seen with the naked eye.

Next up is the 3D scan. We’ll use this to make a digital impression of your teeth. This process is much easier than using plaster and more accurate. It allows our team to create a customized plan and anticipate all your dental movements before even starting treatment.

A patient in the middle of dental treatment

Why are pre-orthodontic dental treatments so important?

In order to treat you, your orthodontist will need a healthy mouth, so a good diagnosis is essential. Choosing to start with orthodontics isn’t a decision you should take lightly. It takes time and should be entrusted to an expert who can guide and advise you from start to finish.

Following the dental treatment plans as prescribed by your orthodontist ensures you achieve the best results, and it also guarantees that your teeth will remain healthy and intact throughout the duration of the process.

Failing to follow the instructions of your dental treatment plan can alter your results, make it so that your results are only temporary, or even worse, that you don’t see results at all. Any of these outcomes could potentially cause the need for additional orthodontic treatment in the future. Also, as we’ll touch on later, not correctly carrying out the pre-orthodontic protocol established by your orthodontist can put your health at risk.

Most common types of dental treatments pre-braces or aligners

The list of dental treatments that can be necessary before beginning orthodontic treatment goes on and on. But in order to keep it simple, we’ve compiled the most common dental treatments below:

Cleanings for a scale and polish

Once you’ve received your diagnosis, your specialist may begin your dental treatment plan by recommending a cleaning appointment. It’s recommended that you brush and floss at least twice a day, but in reality it’s not quite enough to keep your mouth and teeth healthy. There are some difficult to reach areas where plaque and bacteria can build up and eventually mineralize and turn into tartar.

Normally, scaling and polishing is recommended every 6 to 12 months. The treatment is quick and takes around 30-40 minutes.

Skipping your regular cleanings can pose risks like bad breath and serious gum problems that require more complex treatment.

Your orthodontist should always recommend a cleaning before you start your orthodontics treatment.

Tools used for dental procedures

Tooth decay treatment

Tooth decay is an infection that affects the enamel of the teeth and, if not treated in time, can affect the layer underneath or the pulp of the teeth. So to treat this, we have one of the most common dental treatments, the dental filling. Fillings are done to correct cavities and are divided into two types:

  • Simple fillings: a simple filling is used when the cavity, or tooth decay, affects the occlusal surface of the teeth (the part you use for chewing).
  • Composite fillings: a composite filling is used when the issue affects the proximal face of our teeth (the part where the teeth touch).

Treating cavities as soon as possible is essential to avoiding more serious problems. When the tooth decay reaches deep in the tooth, it’ll have to be devitalized and be covered with a crown. That’s why orthodontists strongly recommend that you treat any and all cavities before starting your orthodontic treatment.

Periodontal chart

During your consultation, one of the things your orthodontist will be testing for is periodontal disease. If it’s detected, they’ll need to treat it before beginning orthodontic treatment.

They’ll first make a periodontal chart. A periodontal chart is a document that notes the depth of the periodontal pockets and is extremely important to check pre-braces or aligners. Periodontal charting makes it possible to detect the health status of the patient's gums and prevent the orthodontic treatment from failing.

Gingival curettage

Next on the list of most common dental treatments, we have the gingival curettage. A gingival curettage involves the removal of tartar between the gums and teeth.

This dental procedure is more invasive and time-consuming than simple scaling. It’s performed in several stages and requires regular check-ups with the orthodontist.

Tooth extractions

If you suffer from severe crowding, it’s possible that your orthodontist may need to request the extraction of one or more teeth. By extracting a tooth, your mouth gains space it needs to straighten the rest of your teeth. The procedure is performed in the operating room under general anaesthesia by a dental surgeon.

There are two different types of extractions. The first one is the more straightforward of the two: simple extractions. These are for the teeth that are the least difficult to remove. Then we have complex extractions, which require a more complicated removal technique.

Tooth extractions can also sometimes include removing wisdom teeth. If the wisdom teeth are still buried below the gums and not visible to the naked eye, an X-ray can show their position and predict their development. This will tell the orthodontist whether or not they’ll influence orthodontic treatment.

Can you get invisible aligners with wisdom teeth?

To those of you wondering if you can get invisible aligners with wisdom teeth, the answer will depend on your scan and the recommendation of a specialist. The same goes for pre-braces treatment or any other orthodontic device.

In most cases, you’ll need them removed before you can align your teeth. If you straighten your teeth first, there would always be the chance that your wisdom teeth would no longer have enough room to grow in and could cause all of your teeth to shift. In order to avoid jeopardizing your results, check with your orthodontist about what’s needed in your case.

X-rays

Also on the list of what to do before getting braces, you’ll most likely need to get some X-rays. X-rays help show us the position of the teeth as well as detect any cavities or other problems. The types of X-rays include:

  • Orthopantomography (OPG): an OPG is a general x-ray of the entire mouth. They’ll take this at your initial consultation. Of the three different X-rays, this is the only one that is performed on all patients - no exceptions. It’s vital to detecting problems that may affect the use of orthodontics.
  • Periapical X-rays: these are X-rays taken of only one or two individual teeth. They are basically used to detect cavities.
  • TLRx or Lateral Skull Teleradiography: a TLRx is used to study the facial growth of people undergoing orthodontic treatment. This type of X-ray is more common for pre-braces treatment, rather than aligners.
Orthodontist checking panoramic X-ray 

Root canals

Endodontics, commonly known as a root canal, is a type of dental procedure that some people need pre-braces, pre-aligners, or even if they’re not seeking out orthodontic treatment at all. Root canals remove the dental nerve when it has been affected by deep cavities or as a result of an injury. There are several types of endodontics depending on the number of roots affected.

Fiber posts

Usually people get fiber posts put in after they’ve had a root canal, which helps restore the tooth. The posts are placed inside the root tubes so they can provide support and firmness.

Crowns

Last on our list of the most common types of dental treatments is getting crowns. This can be motivated by several factors:

  • First off, we sometimes resort to using a crown when the tooth has a larger crater after a cavity and it turns out that a dental filling is not enough.
  • Next, some patients need crowns after a root canal. It’s normal for the teeth to be weaker and so sometimes they’re necessary.
  • Lastly, after trauma or an injury, a crown can also be used to restore the natural crown of the tooth.

Get a healthy and straight smile with Impress

So now that you know all the things you could potentially need before starting orthodontic treatment, it’s time to get moving. If you’re looking to straighten your teeth with true professionals, get in touch with us at Impress. We’ll give you all the details about our orthodontic treatments and the pre-treatments available at your nearest clinic.

You can call us at (888) 490 1421, or shoot us a message on WhatsApp, email support.us@smile2impress.com, and you can always just book your initial consultation online.

Come on in for a free consultation to learn about our all-inclusive prices and get a personalized dental treatment plan. See you soon!

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